We tried to go to Miriam's on Court St. this weekend for brunch, as it was packed only a week ago and the menu looked good, but it's closed! I think there's bad juju in that spot, as many restaurants have occupied that space in the last twenty years, and none have had much luck. So, we wandered over to Smith St. and ended up at Char No. 4 (196 Smith St., between Warren and Baltic Streets, 718-643-2106). We had a pretty amazing dinner here when it first opened, and I've been wanting to go back to try their already famous in-house bacon, so in we went.
It was still early, so there was only one other couple dining (it picks up at 11:30, FYI). We were served coffee right away and soon decided on what to get. We chose two meals to split, one being the main brunch option of one poached egg over smoked ham, with crispy potatoes, apple sauce, fig jam and a buttermilk biscuit, as well as coffee and orange juice. The egg was perfectly poached with no clear white bits whatsoever, and the yolk was thick yet just runny enough to be soaked up by the biscuit. The potatoes were also some of the best I've ever had. Nicely browned and seasoned with salt and chives, they tasted a bit like sour cream and onion chips, but real. The applesauce was chunky and the fig jam tasted just like my grandmother used to make from the fig trees in her backyard. Incredible. I would have preferred two eggs though.
We also go the buttermilk pancakes with raspberry sauce and pecan butter. Three cakes to an order with a warm raspberry sauce and buttery pecan butter on top. They tasted great, but quickly filled me up since they were so dense & doughy. Three is a lot too. Next time I think I'll try something else - maybe the fig yogurt with granola and honey.
I also got a side of the bacon I've heard so much about. We were served two THICK slices of smoked bacon which is AMAZING. It's like Peter Luger bacon, but way better. Each slice is about 1/4 inch, smoked to perfection, salty enough to almost make your mouth hurt, and so rich. No matter what I get next time I'm here I'm ordering a side of bacon. Delicious. And next time I'll be sure to try one of their brunch cocktails (Chipotle Bourbon Bloody Mary's anyone, with homemade pickles???).
This place is great. You do end up smelling like you've been sitting around a campfire after eating there, so if that bothers you don't go. The bar area is charming, with cool lighting fixtures that I previously described as looking like upside down ottomans. The back dining area is cozy with big booths for larger groups along one side and tables for two lining the other. There's also a small outdoor area which will be nice when the warm weather returns. Char No. 4 has definitely earned a spot in my regular rotation of restaurants!